Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#IWSG: Pitfall Avoidance Advice

It’s the 8th Insecure Writer’s Support Group of the year. No worries, though, you can sign up any time by clicking on the link. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. 

Thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh, and our co-hosts this month: The awesome co-hosts for the August 1 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover,Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!

This month’s optional question is: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I have a simple bit of advise, really. If you want to get published, it’s all about rewriting and editing. And when you're done with that, edit, edit, and edit some more. How many times, you ask? I probably went through my short story that I submitted to the IWSG Anthology short story contest about a 100 times. I'm serious! Each time I went through my story I found something new to change or correct, or something that could have been said better, or a weak verb to toss. 

Typos and misspellings will get you booted right off the bat, so if you want a publisher or reader to continue reading, you can't make rookie mistakes. And then polish your story until it's squeaky clean. Make a self-editing checklist. Better yet, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers is a goldmine. Use it and avoid the most basic pitfall; an unpolished manuscript. 

This is the process I went through to win the feature spot in Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime!

What is your best pitfall avoidance advice?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

IWSG: Goals and How The Clock Doesn't Stop

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Day
Happy Independence Day!

Instead of the first Wednesday of the month, we're doing this month's IWSG event on Tuesday because of the holiday. If you'd like to join this group, go HERE:

The awesome co-hosts for the July 3 posting of the IWSG are Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne! And of course, thanks so much to our founder and host, Alex Cavanaugh!

Optional July 3 question - What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

My ultimate goal is, and always has been, to support myself with my writing. I still have the same goal, but it's changed a bit with time. The first eight years or so of my writing career (I was a late bloomer) was spent learning the craft and publishing. Then the realization hit that I could do better. So I unpublished my books, studied for a year, and now I'm close to publishing again. Oh, the things I didn't know! 

While I was learning and practicing, something else happened. The clock didn't stop and wait for me!


And now I'm thinking about retirement (in the next five years), in the sense that I'm considering my "second career" options. Sort of a "Senior" project. LOL. I'm looking at writing shorter works, with quicker publishing (in order to build a back list), and a means to supplement my income. Because writer's don't retire, they just keep on writing. Am I right?

What are your writing goals?

How have your goals changed?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IWSG: Book Titles vs Character Names

Time flies and here we are again! It's the first Wednesday of the month when our Insecure Writer's Support Group writer's tribe make the rounds to visit, touch base, share and support our fellow writers. 

If you'd like to join, go HERE

Thanks to our host Alex Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts who make sure every one of us feels special: Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, Tonja Drecker, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

This month's optional question is:

What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

I write cozy mysteries. As a genre, titles of cozies tend to be punny. So fans of the genre know right away that this isn't the kind of read that's going to stress them out. In part, it's why we read the genre. It's so important to get the title right. 

My current WiP is a short story called, Lady Sings the Boos. You can probably guess that the story is about a ghostly jazz singer from the title. It's punny and fun. I don't know why, but it just came to me and I'm sort of in love with it right now. I am never going to say that titling is easy because *whispers* the title gods might decide I'm getting too cocky and put me in my place. 

Lately I'm finding character names harder to come up with. I mean, every Tom, Dick and Harry is named...Tom, Dick and Harry. Which reminds me, Lady Sings the Boos has a "Tom" in it. *scribbles note to change Tom's name to anything but Dick or Harry* 

How about you? 

Which do you find harder, titles or character names?

Do you find either of them easy?